When riding on an aeroplane, I sometimes find it hard to concentrate on 'serious' reading materials. At the same time, I'd be slightly embarassed to be seen reading a Maxim by the grandmother or rabbi likely to be seated next to me. So I try to find a middle ground, and the trip back from Minneapolis was no different - In honor of my first round of golf of the year (and perhaps last if it snows again...), I settled on Rick Reilly's "Shanks for Nothing". This is Reilly's follow-up to "Missing Links", one of the funniest sports books I've ever read. ("We called him Hoover because he sucked.")
You get the sense that Reilly enjoyed writing this because it got him away from the pseudo-profound inanity he has to bang out every week for the back page of SI. The book contains tales of golf; sex; golf; gambling; gambling on sex and golf; prison breakouts; golfing in prison; gambling on golfing while breaking out of prison; and good scotch (Macallan's to be precise).
Despite much of the same characters, this book isn't quite as fun as "Missing Links" for two reasons: first, the terribleness of 'Ponky', the local course, and its cast of 'chops,' are very well established from the first story; much of the humor comes from the introduction of quirks in the course and its denizens. Second, the villains just aren't as compelling (and indeed, are somewhat recycled from Reilly's non-fiction "Who's" Your Caddy?") as the slimeballs at work in the original tale.
An enjoyable, though completely disposable read, with the downside being it didn't even get me all the way from Minneapolis to Phoenix, much less back to The 'Berg..